"These days, bachurim are learning more and more about less and less. Eventually they will know everything about nothing".

Where is the source that he said this, and what did he mean?

I saw this in a meme, and the only further information on it is that it is captioned "someone requested something from Hagaon..."

  • The second sentence does sound like something Rav Gifter would have said. I've heard many speeches and seen many letters from him bemoaning bochurim learning too much depth and too little new material . He never expressed himself that way in any of them
    – Schmerel
    Commented May 5 at 17:32
  • So it does sound like something he would say but you don't know of any specific source? Otherwise I don't understand, your first sentence seems to contradict your last sentence? @schmerel
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented May 5 at 17:37
  • 1
    I just found this on a quotation site so possibly false attribution (I deleted the link, for fear of unseemly adverts)
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented May 5 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


The quote (“getting to know more and more about less and less”) is also well known from secular sources. I have personally heard it many times and first heard it well over 25 years ago.

Its history is investigated here


With this conclusion:

In conclusion, an early fragment was attributed to an unnamed distinguished Scottish person in 1911. Patrick Geddes received credit by 1915 and 1916 for presenting a warning about over specialization. More elaborate statements evolved during the ensuing decades.


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